As an African American child growing up in St. Augustine, Florida, author Gerald Eubanks had a hard time seeing the victories won during the Civil War in action. Blacks were excluded from opportunities afforded to his white neighbors. Schools were aggressively segregated. Racial tensions simmered. The town’s sheriff deputized members of the notorious Ku Klux Klan to ensure continued white supremacy.
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It was through the persistence of quiet, unsung heroes that progress began to appear. Here, he celebrates the little-known champions of the movement—those who demonstrated tirelessly, picketed fearlessly, encouraged, consoled, stood tall, and never wavered in their determination to do the right thing despite overwhelming opposition.
The Dark before Dawn is Gerald’s very personal story of the struggles of life in St. Augustine, Florida, during the civil rights movements of the late 1950s and beyond. It is a tribute to the hundreds of ordinary people who risked everything so that the lives of generations of others might be better. Those familiar with the events of the era credit the Eubanks family with making the significant contributions to the advance of human and civil rights, but their story has gone unheralded—until now. Gerald Eubanks lived through those turbulent times, and now he reminds readers that the fight for civil rights goes on today. He warns that without vigilance, we may find ourselves in the dark before the dawn once again.